Swan Valley Things To Do | A Local’s Complete Guide

The Swan Valley is a picturesque region of Perth and home to world-class wineries, breweries, gourmet food, galleries, and natural attractions. All this and it’s only a 30-minute journey from the city.

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Where is the Swan Valley?

International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.

There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental. Choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, and Thrifty.
To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction.

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The Swan Valley is north east of Perth, at the upper part of the Swan River, between Bells Rapids and Guildford. The region has beautiful views of the Darling Range.

Swan Valley Things To Do | A Local's Complete Guide
Sandalford Wines

How to get to the Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is a half-hour drive from Perth along Guildford Road and ten minutes from Perth airport.

If you are meeting your tour in the valley, take the train on the Midland line and get off at Guildford station. From there, you can grab a taxi or rideshare to the meeting point.

A relaxing way to experience the Swan Valley is on a scenic cruise up the Swan River from Perth, with lunch included.

boat docked ready to take passengers on winery cruise

Swan Valley Map

Before you visit the Swan Valley, download this map to help plan your itinerary.

How to get around the Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is spread out without many public transport options. Therefore, you will need your own form of transport to get around or take a tour.

The Best Time to visit the Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is beautiful year-round, although I prefer not to visit during the summer heat when the surrounding countryside is dry and there is little breeze. However, cooler summer days are perfect for picnics on the lawns and wine tasting in air-conditioned cellar doors.

Autumn is beautiful, with the vines turning a golden colour and my favourite time of year. The weather is still warm but not too hot, and the skies are blue — perfect days for hiking, long lunches, and visiting Caversham Wildlife Park.

Winter brings cooler weather and some rain, but some sunny days too. A great time for bike rides when it’s not raining and visiting indoor attractions, like Yahava Koffeeworks and Margaret River Chocolate Factory, when it is. After heavy rain, Bells Rapids will be in full flow, and the best time to visit.

Spring is the prettiest time in the Swan Valley when the wildflowers are out, and the fields and vines are green after winter rain.

Swan Valley Wineries & Wine Tasting

WA’s oldest wine-growing region is a haven for wine connoisseurs, with the Mediterranean-style climate providing ideal growing conditions. You get an authentic experience at the cellar doors as most Swan Valley vineyards are family-owned and run. The most popular wines produced are Sparkling, Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Petit Verdot, Shiraz, and Fortified wines.

A few of our favourite Swan Valley wineries include:

  • Sandalford Wines
  • Lamont’s Swan Valley
  • Sittella Winery
  • Lancaster
  • Olive Farm Wines
  • Mandoon Estate

Tips for your wine tasting in the Swan Valley:

  • Drinking age is 18
  • Dress smart-casual, especially for the restaurants
  • Take plenty of water and sunscreen
  • Don’t drink and drive!

Swan Valley Winery Tours

We mainly use a mixture of Viator, GYG, and Klook for tours due to their low prices and free cancellation policy on most experiences.

The best way to experience the Swan Valley Wineries is on a tour unless you have a designated driver. There are many tours to choose from, including half-day and full days. Some tours include lunch and a visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, like this Full-Day Winery Experience with Lunch from Perth.

A cruise up the calm Swan River from Elizabeth Quay to the fertile Swan Valley is beautiful and includes morning tea, wine tastings, and cheese and biscuits on board. Read more about the inclusions of this Captain Cook cruise here.

Swan Valley Breweries, Cideries, and Distilleries

If you prefer beer or spirits to wine, Swan Valley has you covered with numerous craft breweries and distilleries.

For something different, visit Mash Brewing to try its limited release donut beer. Specially brewed from 114 kg of unsold doughnuts, saving them from landfill, with 50c from each beer being donated to OzHarvest WA to provide meals to those in need. I think this is a wonderful idea and cause – think I may be heading into the valley to try one!

Pop into one (or more) of the following breweries/cideries to try craft beer and/or cider:

  • Bailey brewing Co
  • Duckstein Brewery
  • Elmar’s in the Valley
  • Funk Cider
  • Funk 2.0
  • Homestead Brewery at Mandoon
  • Iron back Tavern & Cidery
  • Mash Brewing
  • Swan Valley Brewery
  • TXOKO Brewing

Please note that Feral Brewery is now closed.

View the Cider & Ale Trail map here.

Visit one of these distilleries to taste handcrafted spirits, including gin, vodka, brandy, limoncello, and rum:

  • Great Northern Distillery
  • Harris Organic Wine & Spirits
  • Old Young’s Distillery
  • Sin Gin Distillery
  • Swan Valley Gin Company

See the Distillery Trail map here.

a can of donut beer next to a glass of beer on green grass
Donut Beer by Mash Brewing Co

Swan Valley Things To Do

If you’re looking for activities in the Swan Valley, there are many things to choose from. You can explore the area’s natural beauty by hiking or bike trails, visit a winery or brewery, or relax with a picnic in one of the many scenic spots. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to enjoy the peace and serenity that this wonderful region offers.

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

The Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm was a regular choice of our daughters when looking for things to do in the Swan Valley. It’s lovely to see your child’s face light up when they get up close to all the cuddly farm animals.

There are always plenty of animals to pat, including alpacas, ponies, miniature horses, kangaroos, goats, lambs, sheep, pigs, bunnies, chicks, and lots of different birds.

Bottle feeding takes place twice a day at 10:30 am and 3 pm, but check directly in case of any changes.

As of April 2022, the cost was A$20 an adult, A$15 for 2-15 year olds and concessions, and under 2’s free. The entry includes a tractor ride, bottle and bucket feeding, bouncy castle, and Merry-Go-Round. There’s also a playground and picnic/bbq facilities.

Pathways around the farm are wheelchair and pram friendly.

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm is open daily from 9:30 am to 4 pm, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Please note that we haven’t been for a few years, but this animal attraction still receives good reviews. However, if you don’t agree with animals in captivity, I would leave this out of your itinerary as some animals are caged.

128 John St, Henley Brook

children on different coloured carriages on a train ride on farm
Tractor ride at Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

Swan Valley Chocolate Factory

The Swan Valley has two chocolate experiences – the Margaret River Chocolate Company and Whistler’s Chocolate Company, both owned by Western Australians.

Visit the Margaret River Chocolate Company for free tastings and look through the large viewing window to see the products being made. The Chocolate Café at Swan Valley is popular with outdoor and indoor seating and a variety of food on offer. The café is open for breakfast and lunch with a range of cakes, desserts, chocolate fondues, drinks, and chocolate treats all day.

Margaret River Providore is next door, selling a range of preserves, chutneys, olive oils, wines, and chocolate liqueur.

Entry is free and open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except on Christmas Day.

5123 West Swan Road, West Swan

chocolates in margaret river chocolate factory
Margaret River Chocolate Factory

Whistler’s is Western Australia’s oldest chocolate factory, established in 1972 and family-owned. Their showroom offers a small selection of free samples with a large choice of handmade chocolates to purchase. The café has an enclosed garden area for kids to play while you enjoy a WA roasted coffee and cake.

This Swan Valley attraction is open most days from 9 am to 5 pm, but the café closes at 4 pm (the kitchen closes at 3 pm).

Entry is free.

506 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan

rows of boxes of whistler chocolate
Whistler Chocolate Company Swan Valley by Tourism Western Australia

Yahava KoffeeWorks

Yahava purchases the best arabica coffee beans from around the world and roasts them here in Western Australia. They also sell a great range of teas, elixirs and essences, hand-made chocolates, and coffee brewing equipment.

As soon as you enter Yahava KoffeeWorks, you can smell the incredible aroma of the coffee beans roasting. Roasters explain how the beans are roasted to produce a dark golden colour and delicious aroma.

For a true KoffeeWorks experience, you must visit the Tasting Bench, where you will start your coffee adventure around the world, tasting and discussing the coffee, learning as you go. There are also teas, elixirs, essences, chocolates, and frappes to try.

You can purchase the coffee and tea you have tasted as well as a large range of coffee-making equipment, such as stove tops, filters, pour-overs, french press, and cold drips.

Visit for breakfast, lunch, or morning or afternoon teas for a wonderful selection of hot and cold foods at Kafe.

4752 West Swan Rd, West Swan

koffeeworks black sign with white writing
Yahava Koffeeworks Swan Valley

Supa Golf

Supa Golf is a fun activity for a large group and involves a modified game with oversized clubheads and balls. This makes it much easier to play than a normal game of golf and is suitable for most ages and skill levels.

This fun attraction is open from 9 am Monday to Friday with the last tee off at 3:30 pm and from 8 am on weekends and public holidays with the last tee off at 4 pm.

The cost of a 9-hole game is A$18 per adult, A$15 for seniors and children 5-14, and A$8.50 for 4 and under.

10250 West Swan Rd, Swan Valley

Cycle Trails

Cycle trails in the Swan Valley offer visitors an opportunity to explore the region by bike. These trails wind their way past stalls selling fresh produce, wineries, art galleries, attractions, and parks. Some of the trails are short and easy, while others are more challenging.

Download a copy of the cycle trails map here.

Swan Settlers Market

Visit these markets to discover stalls offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, treats, fashion, and accessories. Not only that but you will find an international food court, a gin distillery and cellar door, treats and confectionery, preserves, chutneys, cheese, and coffee and cake.

The Swan Settlers Market has an interesting history. The area was part of the soldier resettlement after World War I when they were given plots of land to grow grapes and apricots that were packed inside this huge shed, built in 1919 due to the proximity to the East-West railway line. But unfortunately, the soldiers weren’t the best growers. Therefore the land was taken over by Yugoslavian men who wandered over from the Goldfields and eventually took over the Swan Settlers Co-Operative. This was the largest population of Yugoslavians outside of Europe, so the Yugoslavian King Peter II visited the Co-Op around the late 1930s.

The indoor air-conditioned markets are perfect for visiting year-round and make a good option when looking for things to do in the Swan Valley when it’s raining.

Swan Settlers Market is open Saturday and Sunday plus on Public Holiday Mondays from 9 am to 5 pm.

124 Lennard Street, Herne Hill

Caversham Wildlife Park & Whiteman Park

Whiteman Park is a fantastic place to take children and features many attractions, including Caversham Wildlife Park, bushwalking trails, tram and train rides, playgrounds, sports facilities, and museums.

The three bushwalking trails (Werillyiup, Goo Loorto and Wunanga) encompass Horse Swamp, Bennett Brook, and banksia woodland. The children’s forest allows kids to learn about the importance and beauty of Western Australia’s native bushland and are encouraged to explore and discover the forest. Whiteman Park has produced activity sheets to help you and your child explore the beauty of nature here.

The Perth Electric Tramway Society operates a genuine heritage electric tram between Mussel Pool and the Village at half-hourly intervals (during weekends, public, and school holidays, the running times are extended.) However, tram rides do not operate on higher fire danger days.

Currently the cost is A$6 for an adult and A$3 per child.

Visit the Motor Museum of WA to see over two hundred vehicles from the horse-drawn era to today. The tickets are A$16.50 for adults, A$7 for children, A$13 for concession and A$38 for a Family Pass (2A+2C). RACWA members can receive a discount. You can also visit the Revolutions Transport Museum for a small donation.

For a small fee of A$5 for over 16s (under this age is free), you can see relics from WA’s agricultural past at the Tractor Museum of WA. If you’re visiting on the second Sunday of the month, you may see the parade of restored vintage tractors around the park.

The Bennett Brook Railway offers scenic trips around the bushland loop, leaving from the Village Junction Station as well as Mussel Pool on weekends and public holidays. Steam trains operate from June to August, with the remaining months by diesel. However, trains do not run on higher fire danger days. Prices are A$10 an adult, A$8 seniors, A$5 for children aged 4 to 14, and A$26 for a family (2A + 2C).

burgundy train carriage with words bennett brook railway written on it
Bennett Brook Railway

Caversham Wildlife Park is one of Perth’s most popular tourist attractions and home to an array of native animals, including kangaroos, wombats, koalas, birds, and reptiles. Read more about the animals, shows, and encounters, plus details on the cost and facilities, in this Caversham Wildlife Park review.

Whiteman Park has a wide range of recreational facilities, including free bbqs, picnic areas, a dog park, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, two permanent orienteering courses, and pedal go-karts to hire. There is also a café and a kiosk to buy food and drink.

The park is open daily from 8.30 am to 6 pm apart from Christmas Day which is from 9 am to 5 pm (for picnic areas only, attractions are closed).

children feeding kangaroos at caversham wildlife park swan valley
Caversham Wildlife Park

West Australian Reptile Park

The family-owned reptile park offers reptile encounters, including shows, presentations, interactions, and holding a python. You can also meet other animals like a euro (kangaroo), brown goshawk, tortoise, and peacocks. 

We haven’t visited here, so we cannot comment on the animals’ conditions.

The reptile park is open Friday to Monday from 10 am to 5 pm (4 pm last entry) and every day during school holidays, but closed on Anzac Day, Christmas Day, and Good Friday.

Entry is A$15 an adult, A$7 for ages 3 to 15, A$12 for seniors, and A$40 per family (2A + 2C). Cash only.

 92 Henley StreetHenley Brook 

Guildford

The beautiful historic town of Guildford is one of only three towns in Perth on the National Trust register. Founded in 1829, during the establishment of the Swan River colony, Guildford is best explored on foot. As most of the town remains relatively unchanged, you get a look into how life was in the early colonial era.

Visit Meadow Street Heritage Precinct to see the Colonial Gaol, built mainly by convict labour from 1841 to 1867. While there, view Taylor’s Cottage, a beautifully preserved heritage building once the home of Edward Taylor, an ex-convict transported to Western Australia for pickpocketing in Birmingham, England. The tiny two-room cottage provides a glimpse into how the Taylors lived with their 13 children! I’ve no idea where they all slept or if they all lived there together at the same time. Taylors Cottage is open from 10 am to 2 pm (closed Sundays and Mondays) with a small fee payable.

Guildford has four walking trails that take you along the Swan River, through the town, past WA’s oldest continually operating pub, the Rose & Crown, Meadow Street precinct, and Stirling Square. Stop to browse one of the many antique stores and boutiques or for a quick drink at one of the heritage-style pubs.

Download a copy of the Guildford booklet here.

colonnial style building with iron roof and brick walls with sign rose and crown hotel
Rose & Crown Hotel Guildford

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids has two dog-friendly walk trails alongside the beautiful rapids. This area is best visited in winter or spring when the rapids are at their best.

Read more about these trails on this guide to Bells Rapids.

the swirling water of bells rapids after heavy rain
Bells Rapids

Walyunga National Park

Walyunga National Park covers both sides of a steep valley in the Darling Range. Walyunga is an Aboriginal name, the area being one of the largest known Aboriginal campsites around Perth and still in use by the Nyoongar people until late last century.

Visit in winter to see the rapids crashing along one of Australia’s best white water canoeing courses, part of the annual Avon Descent race each August. The rapids and deep pools are best seen at Syd’s Rapids, Walyunga Pool, and Boongarup Pool. Visit in spring for sensational wildflowers.

The two main picnic sites are Walyunga Pool and Boongarup Pool, which have free gas barbecues.

A National Park entrance fee is payable and is open between 8 am and 5 pm daily.

See this Walyunga National Park brochure for details of trails.

Swan Valley Restaurants & Cafes

Swan Valley is a region known for its beautiful vineyards and wineries, as well as its restaurants and cafes. There are many different places to eat in the Swan Valley, from family-friendly cafes to stylish venues with stunning views. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or an elaborate meal, the Swan Valley is a food lovers delight.

Mandoon Estate features Wild Swan, a fine dining restaurant, Homestead Brewery, and The Lawn, where you can relax while the kids play. The Erceg family bought the historical Roe Family property and established Mandoon Estate in 2008.

Sandalford Wines Bar and Restaurant has stunning views over the vineyard and offers fresh local produce incorporating Australian and European influences.

Sittella Winery is a favourite with Perth locals who keep returning for the delicious food and award-winning wines with vineyard views.

For some of the best high tea in the Swan Valley, try the Cottage Tea Rooms or Lavender Bistro & Boutique.

The best breakfast options in the Swan Valley are the Guildford Milk Bar, Taylors in the Valley, Little Guildford, and The Coffee Hut.

a wooden board with different types of cheese strawberries black crackers walnuts and crispbreads with a glass of wine in the background
Cheese Platter at Sandalford Winery

Swan Valley Accommodation

We use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), a price match guarantee, the site is user-friendly and they have great customer support. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are often cheaper than Airbnb.

The Swan Valley offers different types of accommodation depending on budget and style. Some of the most popular and highly rated options are:

Lot113 Vineyard Accommodation offers two lovely air-conditioned studio rooms with a kitchenette and decking with an outdoor kitchen and Weber Q. A self-catering continental breakfast is supplied.

The Swan Valley Retreat is a peaceful and luxurious space to relax for adults only. Enjoy a treatment at the spa or take in the stunning view from one of the three suites.

Nivalis Bed And Breakfast features an outdoor pool, gardens, and bbq. Guests have the option of a delicious continental or buffet breakfast.

The Rose and Crown Hotel, built in 1841, is conveniently located in Guildford surrounded by cafes and shops. This historic building is the oldest hotel in Western Australia featuring indoor and outdoor restaurants. Rooms include a 3.5 star, twenty-eight room lodge and two heritage-style boutique spa rooms.

The Colony at Mandoon Estate allows you to stay on a working winery with views to or of the Swan River. The property has an on-site restaurant, bar, and cellar door, and all rooms have a coffee machine and minibar – a great choice for accommodation in the Swan Valley.

Discovery Park Swan Valley has air-conditioned cabins providing budget accommodation in the Swan Valley. Park facilities include a swimming pool, BBQ area, a children’s playground, and a games room.

Novotel Vines Resort Swan Valley is popular, but I feel other accommodations provide better value for money. However, you can read the reviews here and judge for yourself.

To find up-to-date prices and availability, click on the hotel name or the map below to see Stayz properties in the area.

Swan Valley Guide

For a complete list of Swan Valley Wineries, restaurants, cafes, and attractions, download this Swan Valley Guide from the Visitor Centre.

Western Australia Travel Guide

Save money planning your holiday

Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Kiwi.com and try different routes.

Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.

Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.

Tours: We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Mobile: Telstra has the best coverage in Western Australia. We buy our sims through Boost who provide 4G/4GX coverage on full Telstra 4G Mobile Network. With up to 82GB for 28 days or 240GB for 12 months, unlimited national calls & text, and international inclusions on selected plans, you’re sure to find the right prepaid SIM for you. See plans here.

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Swan Valley Things To Do | A Local's Complete Guide

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9 thoughts on “Swan Valley Things To Do | A Local’s Complete Guide”

  1. Wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries? Plus gourmet food, chocolate and coffee? Swan Valley sounds wonderful for foodies! We would love to try the donut beer in particular, it’s great to know that the food is actually used rather than going to landfill. It’s good to know that there are some walking trails in the area so that we could walk off some of the delights on offer – or possibly stagger around them! Really enjoyed this post and thank you for all the practical info as well.

    Reply
  2. Swan Valley really has everything for a day, or few day trips. I’m sold on trying all the wineries and cideries too, for research of course! It’s good to see there are plenty of other things to do here too, and not just drink 🙂

    Reply
  3. Swan valley sounds like it’s right up our alley with animals, wine, beer, chocolate, golf and good food.

    Reply
  4. A donut beer and that chocolate factory are incentives enough for me to visit Swan Valley! What a beautiful region of Perth with wineries, breweries, galleries – something for everyone.

    Reply
  5. How lucky to have this area so close to Perth but far enough to feel like a getaway! I think taking a boat up the river sounds like the perfect way to travel. And I’m all for the wine tours although I love the idea of the donut beer!

    Reply

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